(Illustration) Flash 90

On Thursday night Israel switches onto summer time; at 2 a.m. local time, the clocks will move forward to 3 a.m.

Israelis are reminded to set their clocks accordingly. Cell phones and computers should be set to update automatically as long as the time zone region is set to "Jerusalem, Israel."

During the switch to winter time last September, many cell phone users were inconvenienced as their devices did not update accordingly. At that time the solution for many was to switch the time zone to "Athens, Greece."

Currently, the settings have been switched so that phones should update without any problem if they are set to the Israeli time zone. For those still using Athens time, the clock will only update on March 30, meaning users will need to change their settings or change the time manually.

The summer clock will be particularly long this year, as the nation won't return to winter time until October 26, in accordance with a Knesset decision last July to extend summer time. As a result, the summer time will last over 20 days longer than in past years.

The change was intended to bring Israel into a closer time synchronization with Europe, which also switches over to winter time in October.

The switch was controversial, given that Israel had been switching to winter time for the Jewish fall holidays, which sometimes occur in early September. This was meant to make life easier for observant Sephardic Jews who wake up early for the Slichot prayers during the holidays, and to make the Yom Kippur fast end earlier for everyone.